Friday, January 27, 2012

My Nail Journey: From nail biter to nail blogger

I was going through all of my pictures of my nails this morning and decided I want to share this with you. As bloggers, we are all obsessed with perfection; where I see nails that aren't shaped quite evenly and cuticles that need moisturizing, others leave comments that say, "Your nails look like they could be in a magazine!" Getting that comment just completely made my day, and I have to say that 9 months ago, my nails could not have been further from that.

You may want to have a seat and prepare yourself for this next image. I am going to show you what my nails looked like before I got into nail polish. This picture was taken in April of 2011.

Sadly, this was after a couple weeks of trying to take care of my nails.

I had been a nail biter for as long as I could remember. I know that in 4th grade I wasn't; I had healthy nails that were so strong they actually cut my best friend on the playground one day. But other than this one memory, I can only remember biting my nails, as far back as 6th grade. Bleeding cuticles wasn't unusual. I frequently put bandaids around my fingers; the problem was that it's impossible to play the piano that way. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have bled on the piano during practice.
Painful, ugly, not hygenic...

But I was engaged! And our wedding was at the end of July, which gave me 3 months to try to get them in shape to get photographed. And one day, a friend send me a link to Fuck Yeah Nail Art on tumblr. I looked at every single picture they had pinned, then I started googling nails, and next thing I knew I'd bookmarked 20 nail blogs and bought 20 bottles of nail polish that week.

These are my nails, still in April. I clearly had no idea how to paint nails, and my cuticles are still in really bad shape, but at least they aren't bleeding at this point.

Here they are on June 20th, just over a month away from the wedding.

Here they are on June 28th. That week was the first week I used Burt's Bee's cuticle cream. Delicious goodness.

Here is one of my wedding photos, from my dance with my father, which just makes me SO glad I had put in the work on my nails.

Here they are August 1st, the day after my wedding! This was my wedding manicure (OPI Princesses Rule + Essie Waltz). My index finger broke a little bit that day, so I filed them down a little bit after this photo.

This is after I got back from my honeymoon. With a little bit of Tallulah left in the cuticle. Clearly we have come LIGHT YEARS from where they looked just 4 months before.

My brother got married at the end of August, and this was my mani for his wedding. Zoya Trixie + OPI Crown Me Already. We can clearly see that there's something going on here: my middle two finger nails had broken. I attempted to save them using an Orly repair kit...

But as soon as I took off that nail polish, I had to face the music and cut them off. I cut off the middle two fingernails and left the outside for this picture. It hurts me. Then I cut them all off...

I've been back to fighting with my nails since then. You saw my nails a month ago at Christmas time,
and clearly they still weren't happy with me. I've been fighting with ring fingernail breaks ever since that first awful one in August. But my cuticles are now in good shape. I can wear red fingernail polish without feeling like it's just pointing out how red my cuticles are. And clearly they're already much longer than they were a month ago. I'm finally getting to the point that I am happy with my nails again.

I felt it was important to share where my nails used to be. I was convinced that my nails could never be beautiful. But once I started to care about their appearance and take care of them, the change is really unbelievable. I moisturize multiple times a day, I carry cuticle cream in my pocket or purse, and I polish them every few days to really keep them beautiful. And now look where I am.

So to recap:
In one well-cared-for month, my nails can go from this to this:

and in 9 months, thanks to a lot of TLC & nail polish, I've gone from this

to this.

What was your nail journey like? How did you get into polish?

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